Sunday, April 02, 2006

Liakhovich Shakes Up Heavyweight Division

What a fight! Sergei Liakovich decisively took away Lamon Brewster's WBO Heavyweight belt in one of the best heavyweight fights I've seen in a looooong time. In a fight that went the distance, at times it looked like Brewster would hit the canvas - sometimes in the same round and just a few seconds after it looked like it would be Liakhovich who'd end up flat on his back.

It seems a rematch will be forthcoming, and given the excitement they delivered last night, I'd expect a rematch to be strictly pay-per-view. I have to say, I'd pay for it. These guys showed tremendous heart, will, and boxing skill (though I think Liakovich displayed much more of the latter). It's refreshing to see a heavyweight with that kind of speed - he snapped Brewster's head back time and time again with that jab, and seemed to land that right to the body almost at will. Most impressive about Liakovich to me was his chin. Brewster gave him a hell of a beating at several points - and only once did he take a knee. I do think Liakovich needs to work on capitalizing on a hurt opponent. It was frustrating watching him punch himself out when he had Brewster against the ropes, throwing dozens of useless punches in short barrages instead of stepping back and choosing his shots. For his part though, Brewster is one tough SOB. He would simply not go down.

I expect Wladimir Klitschko to make short work of Chris Byrd. After that, I'd love to see him fight the winner of the Brewster/Liakhovich rematch (and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that this may all yet happen in 2006). I know I said in my last post that the winner of Klitschko/Byrd should get a shot at the winner of Rahman/Toney, but after their completely unimpressive snoozer in AC a coupld of weeks ago, I'm changing my mind. Even though I think Rahman actually won the fight, I just don't care. In my opinion, both Rahman and Toney have become irrelevant.